The importance of quality, factual informationcannot be overlooked in a public health crisis. Internews and our Health Journalism Network remain committed to supporting journalists all over the world in both providingaccurate,up to date information about COVID19 as it continues to evolve, andcombatting harmful mis- and dis-information that is already in circulation.
More specifically, we’ve worked to amplify local voices on public health, address vaccine hesitancy across the globe, and continued to create and distribute resources to journalists to enable them to better report on public health crisis’ such as COVID19, Monkeypox, and others.
Because of your continued support, here’s what we’ve been working on since our last update in July 2022:
Leading One Health Session at the African Investigative Conference (AIJC)
The Internews Health Journalism Network co-hosted a collaborative training session on One Health reporting at the AIJC 2022. The One Health approach centers around achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment, and is seeing a rise in attention from editors and audiences. This training leveraged Internews’ in house expertise and media trainers, resources (including a free e-learning course), toolkits to showcase the powerful ways that journalists can adapt the One Health approach into their stories and future pitches. The session included virtual inputs from HJN members with experience investigating One Health issues in different regions in Africa. Attendees left the session with new ideas for fresh and creative approaches to health stories, access to resources and e-learning courses as well as the opportunity to become part of our global health journalism network.
Hosting Media Dialogue on the latest Ebola Outbreak in Eastern and Central Africa
WHO announced in mid-October that so far 39 people have died in the latest outbreak of Ebola disease in Uganda. There have been 64 confirmed cases and 20 probable cases, and 14 people have recovered from the disease. Authorities are conducting active follow-up of more than 660 contacts. This promoted us to hold a media dialogue on the Ebola outbreak that featured experts in the region to discuss the latest community conversations, misinformation, and rumors on social media that groups are tracking in the region on the Ebola outbreak.
EUROPE AND EURASIA
Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in Europe and Eurasia
In partnership with John Snow International under the USAID-funded MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity (MRITE) projectInternews is supporting media-related interventions to address vaccine hesitancy—both for routine immunization and for COVID-19—in a new project in select communities across Europe and Eurasia.
Countries in this region were among the most heavily hit in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in number of cases and deaths per capita. Health care systemsstruggled to respond to growing caseloads due to weak infrastructure, slow access to vaccines, and widespread disinformation and rumors, which continue to contribute to low vaccination rates. The war in Ukraine has worsened the situation by increasing the number of refugees in the region and putting additional pressure on already strained health systems, along with increasing fuel prices andinflation rates for basic commodities.
The Internews Health Journalism Network (HJN) will spearhead the translation of the Let’s Talk Vaccine course in two languages and train journalists in North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Moldova to produce evidence-based health reporting that highlights the importance of vaccination as part of overall health and wellness. The HJN will also increase opportunities for learning, peer support, networking, and facilitate access to health experts at the regional and global levels.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARRIBEAN
Facilitating Media Dialogue Between Western and Ancestral Medicine
Many Indigenous communities across Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in other parts of the world, have strong ties to the environment and to ancestral knowledge. Theirperspective on health and wellness is deeply rooted in these beliefs and must be considered when promoting vaccine uptake for COVID-19 and other routine vaccinations. Journalists and health communicators have an important role to play infacilitating conversations between Western and Ancestral medicine experts. It is only by integrating these belief systems that lives can be saved and diseases can be mitigated. HJN Members in LAC promoted this type of dialogue among media practitioners and civil society organizations.
Offering Journalist Resources in the Spanish Language
Approximately 35 percent of the HJN Members are from the Latin America and Caribbean region. Having health media resources in Spanish is critical for equipping our members with resources they can use and draw inspiration from. We are creating a go-to page in Spanish that will be continually upgraded with media resources, online courses, and featured health stories.
Hosting Twitter Spaces on Monkeypox and Health Financing
The Internews HJN held a Twitter space on Monkeypox with the Head of the Monkeypox taskforce for the World Health Organization, and other infectious disease experts, just two days after it was declared an emergency. Infectious diseases are contained and managed with financial resources, but journalists are often not aware of how these resources are raised, committed, and disbursed. A few days after the 7th replenishment conference of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, we held another Twitter Spaces conversation on this financing mechanism. We explored how it was used during the COVID-19 pandemic and how it can be leveraged as a financing model for managing future health threats.
We sincerely thank you for your donations, on behalf of our organization and the journalists serving their communities around the world. It wouldn’t be possible without you.
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